Monday, October 24, 2011
Runners Without Borders: Recap
Where do I start? The stats? The donations? The idea? The need? How about the people! At some point during the day Saturday it dawned on me with amazement that whatever the motivation, 97 other people came out to run and do something good. I knew my wife would be there, she helped come up with this plan, and she was the most supportive of my idea, and she was out there running over 30 miles herself on the trails, earning money and generally going way above and beyond. I knew my crazy trail running friends would be there, heck they would have been there anyway, I just gave them a wonderful excuse to do something they wanted to do anyway! And they came out in force. Heck, a few of them just happened to stop by on their regular run and got involved on the spur of the moment. But right away at 8:00 am when the first runners showed up to run 5 and 7 mile trail loops through Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park for Doctors Without Borders I realized something cool was happening: people whom I didn't even know decided to show up and run. 39 out of 96 by my rough count, 39 people who didn't know me, but heard about the event somehow or through someone, and wanted to participate, wanted to run, wanted to do something good. It was one of those days where I felt that people generally want to do something good; it's just sometimes they need a reason, a little push out the door. I was so happy and proud to help provide that reason, even if just for a day.
And what a day it turned out to be! Apparently it is supposed to snow here on Wednesday, so we may have enjoyed the last beautiful weekend for a while. A thin veneer of clouds kept the sun a bay just enough to keep the temperatures warm but not baking hot. There was just a whisper of wind in the valley, and the cottonwoods along the creeks were in full color. Up in the trees the smell of pine filled the air, as the evergreens seemed to stretch their limbs one last time in the warm sun before donning their white winter cloaks for another season.
I'm not going to lie, if you missed this event, you missed out on one special day. It was a sustaining sort of day, not only realizing that people want to do something good, but also being reminded that what we do matters, what we do can make a difference. And it doesn't really take much to make a difference, not when you have your friends out there helping you out. But don't worry, I think we're going to do this again next year, so you'll have another chance to run without borders.
98 people (including myself) came and ran at least 1 loop, with many running more than one loop. A special mention to 6 runners who ran at least 4 loops: Celeste and Kristel each ran 4 loops, Cat, Mindy and Pete each ran 5 loops, and Shannon ran 7 loops! All told the 98 participants ran a total of 168 loops. We had 50 women and 48 men participate. I was able to sneak out and run 1 loop myself, and enjoyed sharing my loop with Celeste. Also we had 7 dogs run a total of 11 loops!
And we raised a lot of money. $3986.78 at this point, with apparently a few more pledges yet to come. We had 82 people pledge money, at least a dozen of which were not even at the event, and they were some of our biggest contributors! A heartfelt thanks to all of you who contributed, and special thanks to those of you who believed in my vision enough to pledge even though you were not able to participate. Anyway I'll go ahead and call it $4,000 raised for Doctors Without Borders, and it looks like the total will exceed that amount. And that entire amount is going to be matched by Audrey Steele Burnand, so basically what I'm saying is that we were responsible for sending $8,000 to Doctors Without Borders on Saturday.
Even though it was only about two months ago, it seems like a long time ago when I thought I should "do something for Somalia" and thought about going on line and sending them a couple hundred bucks. It could have stopped there, and that would have been great, but I felt so strongly about what I was doing that I knew I had to try to do more. I drew inspiration from my wife and my mom and my friends, who help keep my moral compass pointing North, so to speak. I drew courage from the unwavering support of my best friends, who stepped up with pledges right away, and were always there with encouraging words, and there to assist me in planning and implementing the event. I literally could not have done this without you all -- I certainly could not have ran 168 loops on my own! -- so thanks again. I think this was a pretty neat idea and I'm happy to see so many people participate. And yes, I think we'll crank it up again next year, so stay tuned!